Item: Letter from Sir Isaac Newton to Robert Hooke

If you would like to purchase this image, please contact

Bookmark and Share
Record Number: 9792
Collection: Simon Gratz collection [0250A]
Box/Case: 12/11
Folder: 37
Correspondent: Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727, Hooke, Robert
Date of Original: February 5 1675
Original Format: Manuscripts › Correspondence
Dimensions: Dimensions of image, 19 by 30 cm
Image description: Letter from Isaac Newton to Robert Hooke from early in their harried correspondence. Newton here accepts Hooke's invitation for a private correspondence and a sort of collaboration, noting that "what is done before many witnesses is seldom without some further concern than that for truth: but what passes between friends in private usually deserves the name of consultation rather than contest." Newton also asks Hooke for critiques of his papers assuring him that, "I am not so much in love with philosophical productions but oft I can make them yield to equity and friendship." In this letter, Newton also writes his famed remark "if I have seen further, it is by standing on ye shoulders of giants." It appears about two-thirds of the way down on the first page of the letter.

Hooke and Newton's correspondence eventually soured over a variety of disagreements, often attributed to Hooke's reportedly bad temper and prickly disposition.